India’s budget cars failed crash tests : Global NCAP Report

NCAP, a UK based non-profit, conducted the first-ever crash test on some of the popular small cars in India. Shockingly, none proved to safeguard the passengers in the car in case of an accident. All the cars selected by Global NCAP for testing in a frontal impact at 64 km/h received zero-star adult protection rating.

The cars that were selected were, Maruti-Suzuti Alto 800, Tata Nano, Ford Figo, Hyundai i10 and Volksvagan Polo. Out of all these cars only Polo and Figo proved to have a rigid structure which can ensure passengers’ safety, whereas, the other two cars performed badly in the tests.

According to the reports, NCAP shipped these cars to Landsberg, Germany, to conduct the crash test, which included putting the vehicles through a UN recommended regimen where vehicles, equipped with crash test dummies of a human being, are crashed at a speed of 56 km/h and 64 km/h. All the cars were basic, entry-level models and were not equipped with airbags.

India's budget cars failed crash tests : Global NCAP Report

India’s budget cars failed crash tests : Global NCAP Report

Max Mosley, Chairman of Global NCAP said,  “India is now a major global market and production centre for small cars, so it’s worrying to see levels of safety that are 20 years behind the five star standards now common in Europe and North America. Poor structural integrity and the absence of airbags are putting the lives of Indian consumers at risk. They have a right to know how safe their vehicles are and to expect the same basic levels of safety as standard as customers in other part of the world.”

In Maruti-Suzuki Alto 800, Tata Nano and Hyundai i10, the structures were such that they collapsed to varying degrees, resulting in high risk of life-threatening injuries to the passengers. In fact, the structures are so weak that even fitting an airbag will not ensure the passengers’ safety. The Ford Figo and Volksvagen Polo had a structure that remained stable after the crash. So, fitting an airbag will improve the safety of the passengers.

After this test, Volksvagen decided to withdraw the non-airbag version of Polo from sale in India. The protection in the airbag-equipped version of Polo is much higher and it received a four-star rating.

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